I always have mixed feelings about Paddock Wood Brewing, out of Saskatoon. On the one hand they make absolutely tremendous craft beers, but on the other, seeing their name reminds me of the now-defunct Beer Gods series they were brewing in association with Sherbrooke Liquor, with labels drawn by the sublime Steve 'The Dude' Rude. We only ever saw the first 4 or 5 of the 12 proposed beers, each featuring a different mythological beer deity, and I'm assuming this project went into turnaround when the management changed at Sherbrooke, and that the promised calendar is likewise lost to the ages.
Focusing on the positive, however, they make a number of great beers, and hopefully today's Belgian Tripel, Marzyana, will be one of them. It pours a skylight hazy gold with hints of amber, with a bit of lively head that alas, is not long for this world. The aroma is fresh and fruity, with the typical yeasts blending with apples and pears, as well as a bit of oak.
It treads lightly on the palate for a 9.2% beer, and is very smooth and light for a Belgian-style beer. I recall them as having a more full-bodied mouthfeel, but the softer approach suits the fruitiness, and makes for a frankly alarmingly smooth-drinking extra-strong beer. It will no doubt be far too sweet for some tastes, but as a winter warmer that is racing through the holidays with one foot in barleywine country, but without the attendant sharpness of that style.
Marzyana is a real keeper as far as I'm concerned, and the elegant label only adds to its appeal! I will be seeking it out after the holidays, you can be certain of that.